By Guest Blogger and Curriki Member Lani deGuia
From August 5-21, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad are bringing all eyes in excitement on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 11,000 athletes representing 206 countries are vying for medals in 28 Olympic sports. It’s an opportunity to witness the world’s greatest athletes compete in the spirit of excellence, peace and respect. It’s also a chance for children to explore the wide variety of themes and topics of the Olympics that they are passionate about. There are many ways to get kids engaged and excited as they tune in during the next few weeks. Here are several great resources to help!
For the Youngest Olympic Fans
Did your child ask you about the Olympic flame during last Friday’s opening ceremony? Does the Olympic flame ever go out? Does the Olympic Flame Ever Go Out? is a Wonderopolis activity exploring the history and meaning behind the lighting of the Olympic flame for the Olympic Games.
Need activities to provide understanding of the underlying themes of the Olympics? The Summer Olympics Start Today! is a collection of lesson resources from ReadWriteThink exploring how the Olympics are meant to “better the world through sport practiced in a spirit of peace, excellence, friendship and respect.” It features activities on poetry, designing stamps, flags, and even making cookies that represent the Olympic rings!
For More Independent Learners
Looking for opportunities to teach about this year’s host nation? Destination Rio: Rhythm and Diversity offers a visitors’ guide and exhibition exploring the culture, people,and traditions of Rio de Janeiro.
If your child has many questions and interests about the Olympics, the following resources offer a great starting point:
- 2016 Olympic Games: Rio de Janeiro is a collection of educational resources from TeacherVision that help students learn about past and present Olympic games, Olympic symbols and traditions, Brazilian history, and more. They also provide fun worksheets on alphabetical order, Olympic symbols and traditions as well as resources on past political issues and scandals of the Olympics.
- Reaching for Olympic Glory is a collection of Olympics and sports-themed lessons, tools, videos and more, including topics such as buoyancy, sprinting, reaction time and the science behind a variety of sports.
Perhaps you have an older child whose interests lie in economics. $16 Billion to Host the Summer Olympics: Is it Worth It? is an EconoEd lesson where students can explore the financial impact, demands, benefits, and deficits on Brazil for hosting the summer Olympics games.
This school year is a great time to incorporate the Olympics into instruction. Do you teach math? Olympics 2008: Distance and Time, Scatter Plot Charts asks students to create a scatter plot chart that maps out the relationship between distance and time for men in the various Olympic sports. Although the lesson is based on the 2008 Olympics, students can populate this year’s results and compare! Proportional Reasoning: On Your Mark is a mathalicious lesson analyzing whether or not Usain Bolt would be just as successful if Olympic sprinters had to run distances based on their heights.
Looking for a way to integrate the Olympics into your language arts class? The New Olympic Sport: A Research Project and Persuasive Presentation is a 10th grade language arts activity where students research Olympic sports and develop a persuasive proposal to nominate a new sport as an Olympic event.
From poetry and sports to economics and politics, there are multiple opportunities to expand learning through the Olympics. Make it a gold-medal-winning learning experience!
Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.